§ 57. Mr. Marlow
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the effect of the reduction of pupil-teacher ratio on education standards over the last five years.
§ Mr. Chris Patten
My right hon. Friend recognises that the pupil-teacher ratio is one factor affecting the standards achieved by pupils, and the Government's public expenditure plans as announced in this year's White Paper (Cmnd 9702) provide for a further modest improvement in overall PTRs between January 1985 and January 1987. It is important that schools should use the flexibility allowed by smaller PTRs to give teachers adequate time for curriculum planning and development, and improve teacher deployment, not simply to reduce class sizes.